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Commercial Use - Or Not Commercial Use ?

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by KiwiNed, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. KiwiNed

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    Okay Everyone,

    Got a question for you and lets see what your view is. I own and publish a number of magazines, from aviation to motor racing to field hockey to travel & lifestyle.

    I have both a P3 and also my Inspire. The way I understand it you have to get all the various approvals (differs in different countries) IF you are operating a drone commercially. HOWEVER since its ME that owns the magazines, MY own publications, and I am using the drone ONLY for myself, NOT for any other outside customer then does that mean I am operating a drone commercially or as (the way I view it) personally just for my own use.

    Interested in your feedback.

    Ned
     
  2. Scotflieger

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    Hi Ned,

    Although you may own your magazines, I assume you run them for 'commercial gain' and therefore images you may take for publishing would require you to operate under a CAA permission. Part of the reason is that you would need to be insured for third-party liability and it is near impossible to get such cover unless you are qualified as a RPA remote pilot.

    The CAA website states:

    "You must request permission from the CAA if you plan to:
    • fly the aircraft on a commercial basis (i.e. conducting ‘aerial work’)
      or
    • fly a camera/surveillance fitted aircraft within congested areas or closer (than the distances listed within Article 167) to people or properties (vehicles, vessels or structures) that are not under your control
    Permission is not required if:
    • the aircraft will not be flown close to people or properties, and you will not get ‘valuable consideration’ (i.e. payment) from the flight, then a permission is not needed; "
     
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  3. KiwiNed

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    • the aircraft will not be flown close to people or properties, and you will not get ‘valuable consideration’ (i.e. payment) from the flight, then a permission is not needed; "
    I dont get any payment for it so therefore I can operate under the no permission section. Most of what I do is for fun, but from time to time I will use one or two pics shot from the drone for my magazine.

    Have been told that since I have no "outside commercial customers" and its only for in-house then its not being used commercially.

    Suppose it differs from various countries.
     
  4. Firefly_AI

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    If you are using the images in the magazine, you are in some (albeit small) way achieving valuable consideration by enhancing the content you are producing. That would be my take on the matter anyhow, though I'm sure others would disagree. I'm sure the CAA would also see it that way. I recently had a conversation with a site manager who intended to use an Inspire or Phantom for site security at night. His argument for using one is that he wasn't getting paid any money from the land owners for it. However, the shady area comes if he did in fact catch somebody trespassing. Would that have potentially saved them money/expense? The CAA would then see that as valuable consideration.

    Sadly, my thoughts on this are if you want to use these for anything other than a hobby, go down the proper licensing routes like the rest of us have to. In the end it'll protect you and more importantly others if something went wrong!
     
  5. KiwiNed

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    Will probably just end up using it for fun, shooting video and pics for my own use as the B/S associated with getting all the "proper" licensing etc (especially in Australia $10K plus) is just a joke.

    Onwards and upwards.
     
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  6. Firefly_AI

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    Same here in the UK I'm afraid. though probably not quite that expensive. Good luck!
     
  7. ajohnsonlaird

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    In the USA the test the FAA appears to use is to answer the question: Do you derive any commercial benefit from the flight?

    If you fly with a smile on your face and only use the imagery you capture as part of recreational flying, then you're not flying commercially.

    If, on the other hand, you use the aircraft imagery for your magazine, then, overall, I think the FAA would say, you're deriving commercial benefit -- or the intent it is to derive commercial benefit -- by making your magazine more attractive to subscribers.

    The FAA has published an interpretation of the "model aircraft rule" at https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf

    It spells it out pretty clearly.
     
  8. DennisR

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    In Australia, it is commercial property as you are using the images to make money for other purposes. Same as me. I take footage for tv commercials for my own use free. however, if a client uses the images to pout on his web site or Facebook and he makes money from them, then it is indeed commercial work. Why do you think I paid 10k to have license? I did some photography using inspire 1 for my brother who is areal estate agent free of charge. It becomes a commercial operation the moment he puts the images on line.
     
  9. DennisR

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    Fair enough but make sure its for your own use which we all know it isn't. Rules are harsh in Australia. Thats why we get a license. you need to know the rules as it is an aircraft. You cant expect to take an aircraft about 3 kilos and fly where and when you want. The license is so you know the rules. Without a license there will be millions of people flying these drones around d the place illegally and thats not right. They re not toys as many think.
     
  10. Chris Miller

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    Hey yall, first time poster, learned a lot here already, thank you. I have a similarly questionable situation. I am a pro still photographer and just purchased the Inspire Pro. I have also just filed for my 333.

    I have lost a few jobs/clients recently because I couldn't offer aerial images to compliment my ground still projects, and I'm going to be in that situation again soon. Could I just charge for my stills as always, and just throw in the aerials at no charge so I don't lose the client? I'm sure this is a grey area, as my clients will be utilizing the images, even though I didn't benefit financially from them?

    Also, while I wait on my exemption, I would like to build my aerial portfolio by shooting new aerial images at current client locations (golf courses etc) at no charge to the client locations, of course. How do you think the FAA would feel about that?

    Thanks again,
     
  11. Kilrah

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    Well, you just answered your own question. If you need to include them to keep the client, it obviously means they have substantial value in the package you're selling.


    I'd imagine it would be OK to shoot them to advertise your own gig, but without giving them to the client (or you can give them, but they can't use them for anything public... so obviously they'd have no interest in letting you shoot them in the first place, and you wouldn't make yourself look very smart coming "hey I'm also gonna shoot nice aerials but you can't have them").
     
  12. Jimmykjimmy

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    Go to drone law.com. You'll find out some interesting info that will supplement the non legal advice your getting here.
     
  13. DennisR

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    You cant do that. Your client is still benefitting from them and so are you financially. Many of us have forked out 10k and a lot of study time to get a license. There is no easy way. You doing work for nothing helps no one and is against the law. I do drone work and video plus stills for my clients. Would you like me to offer my still photography for free to get my drone work?
     
  14. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
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    We have some slightly different rules in our respective countries. I know in the US if you shoot for fun, you are allowed to sell your pictures or video after the fact. It is a bit of a loop hole and I do not know how much I would trust it but that is what has been passed down to us. It also specifically states that media may NOT own or use a UAS for their publications but they MAY buy footage/pictures from hobbyists. Silly Americans.
     
  15. Brian Weis

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    I did not read anyone replies. (Just have a second) I own a bunch of golf sites. I take photos for golf courses mainly for me and my sites. I justified in my head it was personal until the light bulb went off. If I injury someone or do property damage, I want them to sue the business not me personally. I bought aviation insurance liability insurance for $900ish a year. (1m coverage) I also applied for 333 exemption. I would not worry or screw around with being a hobbiest. If you hurt someone and you are a hobbiest they are going to sue you and your business. Protect yourself and do it right. Big deal if you have to apply for a 333 and spend a couple bucks for a tail number. Injure someone and it might risk everything you personally own. Plus, now that I have everything in place I use it against my competition. I can do it for fee and free and everything is above board. If you paid $5000+ for both drones pay an extra $900 for commercial insurance and apply for your 333. (It was not that hard)
     
  16. Brian Weis

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    ((Continuation from above))

    I have been emailing all the golf courses in the area not to have anyone fly a quad/drone on property if they do not have a 333 and more importantly aviation insurance. I tell them to ask to see it. The liability risk is huge because if someone gets hurt, the course is not insured with their liability insurance and Hank "the hobbiest" does not have any liability insurance. If someone gets hurt or killed you will lose your golf course.

    If you take your time and do everything right you can use it in your sales materials, website, sales pitch. I am working on my qualifications on my website. (flight times, training, equipment, certifications/exemptions, insurances) Plus why hire me and not some dude that just got a drone for Christmas.

    I am not in love with crazy GVT bureaucracies and think having to be a pilot to fly a RC quad is dumb but I think the FAA in the USA is trying to protect people at large and take control of the airspace they control. If you are going to be a professional you may as well act like one and do all the right things for the ability to do your services. Doctors have to pass the boards..I figure I can file paperwork with the FAA, get a tail number, abide by common sense law. I am sure I will be pissed when new tests, regulations and fees come down the pike but will do them because I think I offer some cool services.
     
  17. Brian Weis

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    Whoops...sorry Now that I read everything I see you are not in the USA. ($10,000 is steep..maybe you can recoop by selling your work) Well maybe my sermon can help someone in the USA.
     
  18. kcobello

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    You sure about this? Why would anyone go commercial then? Seems to me the ability to sell RCAP is a commercial venture which makes it illegal...
     
  19. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
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    Here is my source. I also have a $2m liability policy.

    FAA Memo on Media Use of FAA
     
  20. Kilrah

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    It's as grey as it can be, i.e you can't be sure of anything, like many laws in the US it's cleverly designed to have enough leeway for lawyers to make money on...

    You can consider it as being allowed to sell your stuff just as much as it can be interpreted that whatever you shot and that someone "miraculously" happened to be interested in is nothing but disguised commercial operation.

    So you clearly run a risk if you do it that way IMO, annoy someone enough and they'll for sure be able to turn things the way you don't want them to appear.

    Just a personal opinion of course.